Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sometimes I Surprise Myself...

We're a do it yourself kind of family. We've poured a concrete patio as big as a swimming pool, laid a brick sidewalk, built a picket fence, one picket at a time. We've cut the family room in half, adding an office (we did hire someone to punch a hole in the brick wall to install a window because that was just too scary to do ourselves!). And we've painted ad nauseum. Or at least I have. DH hates to paint, and I've found we're rarely any good at the jobs we detest. So he does some other manly jobs and I do all the painting. We've never hired a painter to do a lick of painting inside this house.

We've had a few small water issues that showed themselves in our living room ceiling over the past thirteen years. Dried out bathtub caulking or a leaking potty. So we've repaired the ceiling each time. Last fall I took out the ceiling paint and touched up the ceiling, only to realize there's now a gleaming white circle in the middle that is very noticeable for all its gleaminess.

The only alternative was to paint the entire ceiling, because in spite of all the painting I've done I didn't realize the color of ceiling paint varies by brand. I touched up with a different brand, which meant the entire thing needed to be repainted. A large living room - probably 15 x 25 foot.

Please beat me instead.

I'd rather give birth, or pour the patio or lay the sidewalk again or have knee injections. Many unpleasant events come to mind that are preferable to me.

As I took another glance at the ceiling this past Monday morning, before donning my paint-covered overalls to go paint the upstairs bathroom walls, door and trim, I just cried U.N.C.L.E. and called Mr. Handyman. A franchise company locally owned by members of our church, they charge $60 an hour, no matter the job. They assured me it will be less than half a day, and the paint is cheap. So today, for under $200 the living room ceiling will all be the same shade of white, not a spot in sight. That's less than the cost of a weekend away, and I'd rather have a freshly painted ceiling, while staying right here in our house. I can buy the box wine with my allowance if need be.

So next time anybody out there is ambitious enough to touch up their ceilings, be sure you use the same can you painted it with the last time. And be sure you've marked which ceilings in your house were painted with that can. I plan to throw away all the others we're storing, and keep a remnant of the one the painter will bring with him. And check the caulking in the upstairs bathroom I'm painting because if our freshly painted ceiling shows a water spot there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then I'll grab the right can and touch it up, again.

I read in a book recently a quote, "Life is too short to dance with an ugly woman." The quote was actually talking about our own sinfulness and ugly traits that we hold onto which is another post for another time. For now, I think "life is too short to paint your own ceilings when they can be hired out." I'll clean this house upside down and backwards, I'll mow grass, I'll clean carpets, I'll reseed lawns, there are all sorts of jobs I'm willing and able to do, but this one - no more. The cost of having this done is pretty much four trips to Applebees, or a few movies with a large popcorn and coke. I'm quite content to sit in a living room chair, with homemade microwave popcorn and stare up at a freshly painted ceiling - a thing of beauty indeed.


Becky said...

I would have done the EXACT same thing. And I have to tell you that we have never hired a painter either.

I am the painter (same deal ... the Butler hates it), as well as the dimmer switch installer, the ceiling fan installer, the grill putter-togetherer, etc, etc.

I got drill bits in my stocking one year and I WAS THRIILLED!!

Anyway, I'd eat beans and macaroni for an entire month rather than paint a ceiling.

Good choice!

Michele said...

I'm not very good at painting. My husband is, but he really dislikes it. So we finally paid painters the last time! Enjoy your beautiful new ceiling!

Mayhem And Miracles said...

I'm with you Bev! It's fun to plant new color in a place you're so used to seeing one way in order to make it look new, but ALL THAT WORK just to cover one small unsightly spot and it suddenly isn't fun anymore! I really wanted to comment on your last post. You steal my heart with your stories of Southern bygone years because they transport me right back to my own endless childhood days of fun on the beaches of South Texas. Everything about it I related to, especially "Mama's cold red cool aid" and remembering friends who are long gone from my life, but whose memories remain as strong as yesterday's. And though I am a part of your daughter's generation, we too used seashells to draw our hopscotch grids across our backyard driveways. I LOVED YOUR POST!

Barb said...

Ceilings are the worst. Good for you, for hiring it out.

I'm the painter too. I wonder why men, almost ALL men, hate to paint.

Kelly said...

Amen! I'm with you on that, although in our house my husband does all the painting... all those summers when he was a teacher, painting to earn extra income, prepared him well for life with me. He doesn't like it, but he is more than willing to do it, as long as I stay out of his way and don't try to supervise, which I am happy to do:-)

Money well spent for sure, Bev!

Gretchen said...

I so agree with your logic. Sometimes we have to know when to hold em and know when to fold em.

I remember negotiating 2 C's--one for Geometry and one for Chemistry if all the other classes were As.

Enjoy your ceiling, my friend.

Susanne said...

We've never hired a painter either. And we're in the midst of painting. Hubby does it all. He just plugs away at on weekends. And he just painted the bathroom hallway and spare room ceiling. He doesn't seem to mind though. Our friends hired out the painting of the whole inside of their two story house and I'll admit I was just a wee bit jealous that the whole job was done in a week or so instead of one room here, one room there.

pcb said...

I have been painting in my house (my husband does not paint!) in advance of getting two rooms carpeted...had to work on a ceiling that was patched years ago...just last Wednesday. I wasn't smart enough to hire it out. If you want to read a short blurb on my misery...